Why people buy LED light

In June 2011, McKinsey conducted a global survey of 650 lighting professionals and 1000 consumers to estimate LED market share of lighting fixtures by application, including office, shop, hospitality, residential, industrial, outdoor, and architectural lighting. The lighting professionals included lighting designers, architects and electrical engineers, and participants were from the USA, Germany, Japan, China, Russia, Brazil and India.

The buyers indicated their number-one purchasing criterion when selecting new lighting fixtures in up to three applications (see chart). Quality of light, which includes CRI, color temperature, color consistency and light distribution, ranked the highest for all applications except residential, where it was out-ranked by purchase price. The second-highest concern was lifecycle cost/energy efficiency for all applications except residential.

In the survey, lighting professionals and consumers were also asked to identify a payback period (in years) that would encourage them to choose LED over traditional lighting, by application. The results showed that most people required payback of three years or less. The acceptable payback period for residential lighting had the highest proportion of participants (22%) that expected payback in less than one year.

The acceptable premium that people were willing to pay for a new lighting fixture for the first installation varied on average between 30% above cost (for residential) and 39% (for office lighting). However, the median value was at 20% for all applications except for office lighting, which had a median value of 30%.